Nick Joebgen

Development Log: Fantasy Town Day 1

Posted by admin on December 3, 2015


It's been suggested to me now by quite a few people that I keep a log, persay a journal of my progress on the levels I build. Well, isn't that really what a blog is? That being said, I'm going to be using a series of blog posts to describe the next project I'm working on, and then using the tag feature so that all posts can be found in one click. I guess, if that doesn't work, I can condense everything to one blog post. We'll just have to see!

So, with that out of the way, I guess it's time to introduce the next level I'm going to be working on. Keeping in theme with my love for fantasy, this next level will be a "top down" third person view on a 3-D level. This level is stemming from a game idea I'm currently mulling over, and many of my influences for this level come from towns found in the Final Fantasy games, as well as both Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. Now, you might be wondering how that could possibly work, but let me explain my thought process here. I want to build an open world level that includes a residential area that a majority of people would live in. This is where Final Fantasy comes into play as many main NPC interactions happen in towns. Animal Crossing comes into play when thinking about the surrounding area and the feeling of security that I want the level to provide. When playing an Animal Crossing game, I feel as though my character could fall asleep outside, anywhere, and have nothing to worry about. The town is isolated from everything and the feeling of safety is almost palpable. Harvest Moon, now I'll admit this one is a bit of a stretch, but I love how the game always has a distinct town area and explorable area, which is what I want to reproduce. Keeping those three things in mind, my brainstorming has led me to the idea of an open world island environment. On this island environment will be a town that serves as the main hub for "quests" and interactions with NPCs. Nearby the town will be a homestead that serves as the main character's home. Spread throughout the rest of the island will be isolated houses, a river coursing through that comes from an (unseen) mountaintop, and a couple other secret areas I have yet to brainstorm. 

Picking an engine

As much as I love the Unity Game Engine and could probably do some coding in it to make this more than just a level, I need to show off more of my Unreal skills. That, and I found a sweet asset pack that I've been waiting to use, and I feel like this could be a perfect opportunity to do so. Unreal is also going to provide me with the chance to show off some visual scripting using Blueprints, as well as my knowledge of C++ as I plan on trying to code in some *basic* interactions and objectives. 

Blockout begins

To end my work time for the day, before moving over to some work with Bearfoot Games, I decided to start blocking out the level in Unreal. With everything on graph paper, the blockout process should go fairly quickly. The majority of that will come tomorrow. 


This picture is another reason why I am a fan of Unreal. I can see a top-down view of the game with a grid system, which makes blockouts and lining everything up even easier. Right now I'm purely working with BSP brushes to get a blockout done, as can be seen. What this picture represents is where three different houses will go, along with the fencing that will run along behind them. Pretty boring for the moment, but blocking out the level is absolutely necessary, as far as I'm concerned. 


That's it for today. Tomorrow will hopefully see me finish the blockout!

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